Thanks for checking into my blog!

As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Rule #14 – Observe everything

     By the way, what’s up with these rules, anyway?

     Let me explain. No, let me sum up… my daughter started it. Yes, it’s true. Before Christmas, neither my husband nor I even considered watching NCIS. We are History Channel buffs. When in season, though, it’s always baseball or football games. So really, we only use 5 or 6 channels regularly out of the thousand offered by Comcast.

      Just before Christmas, we got DVR service with our cable. Now we can “tape” and watch shows at our convenience. Just what two under-exercised people need….not!

      Enter my husband’s visit to our daughter. He spent a few days at her house where he was introduced to NCIS, both new ones and repeats. Let’s just say, he was addicted immediately and shared his addiction with me when he got home. I am so hooked! As of now, we still have 18 episodes to watch off the DVR. We are only now getting to a point where they are familiar.

     What could possibly trigger this effect? Try decent dramatic writing. The show has characters that the audience can relate to as everyday people. I can see people I know in each person on the show. I know strong women like Kate and Ziva, who are not afraid to show their strength and smarts. I know several extremely smart McGee’s and Abby’s who just seem to know how to get the information they need. I taught DiNozzo’s for 18 years in high school and middle school, who were so busy trying to be funny and be liked they forgot, occasionally, to be human and considerate. I know several “Ducky”s, who have a historical anecdote for every occasion, like it or not. And there’s the leader of this pack, Gibbs (Mark Harmon’s character). I know several people like Gibbs – strong, leery of authority figures, not fond of political processes, flawed occasionally, the gentle foot in the tush of his co-workers. I always wished to have the guts to head slap my students when needed, like Gibbs head slaps the team members. (I worked in a school, and with the current school climate, I would have been arrested for assault, even if the kid had it coming to them) I see a lot of myself in the Gibbs character. And, it’s not just the grey hair, either.

     Now, I do not like wasting time. Sitting and vegging in front of a TV screen are not things I consider appropriate for all hours of the day and night. It’s great when you need a break, or are really sick. But generally speaking, there are better things to do with your time than to just watch TV all day. But like I said, we are addicted to the show. We’re sitting….. and sitting….and sitting….catching up on nine years worth of shows….

     Ok, Self. Turn this into a positive…  Gibbs has rules. Write your own rules like Gibbs does.

     So that’s where the “rule” thing came from. I wrote Gibbs-style Rules for Writing Right. I’m using those rules to drive the blog here. I am actively using Rule #20 – Draw inspiration from anything and everything! I’m only up to 39 rules while Gibbs has over 50. Whatever works here!

     Sounds like a bunch of excuses? Not really… it did make for a cool topic for a guest blog I did for B. Swangin Webster. I went to a conference where I met B. We discussed how we get started on writing projects. She wanted to know how I find stuff to blog about. We decided to guest on each other’s blog. Here’s the link to my posting on her blog:
Check it out! Here I focused on a different style of writing – Rule #24. Practice, practice practice. She has a totally different style of writing. I learned a lot from her.

     Now, what might be next for future posts? More baseball? Most definitely. Gardening events? Of course! Adventures into kitchen remodeling? You betcha! Travel reviews? Naturally! Restaurant reviews? Sure, if I can pry myself away from the restaurant. Daily life? Injected as necessary. My angst while trying to write children’s books? Did you think you wonderful readers would get out of that one? It will be here, I promise, especially if I have trouble getting back into the rabbit’s head.

     Ok, now to go to Rule #33 – Eventually, good enough is good enough. Time to get to other writing assignments.

     And that – as the late, great Paul Harvey would say – is the rest of the story….

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